Thoughts from the Publisher

Neena Strichart
Publisher

We’ve all heard about the struggles facing small, medium and large businesses during these tough economic times. Some are barely hanging on while others are getting creative and expanding or “tweaking” their merchandise or services. Lots of folks are finding innovative ways to meet even more of their patrons’ needs. I’ve heard of chiropractors offering more spa-like massages, while some housesitters are including pet-sitting as part of their services. Many restaurants are adding specialty coffee drinks to their menus to capitalize on the area’s yen for caffeine. The list is as endless as is good old American ingenuity. Besides, meeting a need is good business and creates its own goodwill and word-of-mouth marketing.
Although we have always been primarily a newspaper business, we too have been creative in expanding our horizons. We’ve done some business card, brochure and even menu designing and printing for our clients who appreciate our customer service. During election seasons we have also produced political mailers/handouts for several local candidates. No conflict of interest there, as our newspaper does NOT endorse candidates. As if that isn’t enough, through a pilot program with the City of Signal Hill, we recently added transit shelter outdoor advertising to our list of marketing opportunities for local businesses.
Keeping in mind the unique twists and turns businesses are taking these days, I can’t say I was surprised to hear about the latest original idea when it comes to cemetery plots– a new golf-themed memorial site. After reading about the innovative idea online, I contacted the marketing folks for the memorial park and asked them to send me a press release. They responded immediately and even sent a few fabulous photos. Here’s more of the story…

According to a press release from Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home in the state of Washington, they have recently dedicated their new Memorial Golf Park. “Golfers understand the simple joys that accompany a day on the course: the smell of a freshly cut green, the sound of a well-hit drive and the satisfaction of watching a long putt fall into the hole. It is with these joys in mind that Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home dedicates its new Memorial Golf Park, a complete golf hole which allows committed fans of the game to be buried or placed in a permanent golf setting, the nation’s first golf-themed memorial park,” states the first portion of the release.
Located in Bellevue, Washington, this park was created by a professional golf course designer and features several details. The document emailed to us also states the following: “The park includes a tee-box, 820-square-foot green, fairway and sand trap. The green features a custom-made bronze cup, which will be used as a passageway to the ossuary. Further information given tells that Sunset Hills Memorial Golf Park can accommodate more than 1,281 golf enthusiasts, between full-casket plots and cremation placements.”
I love the idea of making a final resting place a bit more personal and a touch less traditional. What are your thoughts?
To read the entire press release provided by Sunset Hills, see below:


New golf-themed memorial site allows golf enthusiasts unique option in final resting place

Bellevue, Wash. – Golfers understand the simple joys that accompany a day on the course: the smell of a freshly cut green, the sound of a well-hit drive and the satisfaction of watching a long putt fall into the hole.

It is with these joys in mind that Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home dedicates its new Memorial Golf Park, a complete golf hole which allows committed fans of the game to be buried or placed in a permanent golf setting, the nation’s first golf-themed memorial park.

The Sunset Hills Memorial Golf Park, located near Kelsey Creek Park in Bellevue, can accommodate more than 1,281 golf enthusiasts, between full-casket plots and cremation placements. The golf memorial also features an ossuary located under the green, accessible through the actual golf hole.

Designed by a professional golf course designer, the park includes a tee-box, 820-square-foot green, fairway and sand trap. The green features a custom-made bronze cup, which will be used as a passageway to the ossuary.

Sunset Hills is a proud member of Service Corporation International’s (NYSE: SCI) Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery goods and service providers.

“At SCI, we strive to serve families and individuals by celebrating lives with individually designed and themed experiences,” said Arne Swanson, market director for Dignity Memorial’s Seattle Region. “We are proud to be a leader in this area, and Sunset Hills Golf Hole Memorial is a great example of our approach.”

The concept of a golf-themed memorial park came to Swanson – an avid golfer – when he saw a group of golfers spreading ashes at a local golf course, probably without the permission of the golf course management.

“My thought was that there were likely other golfers who would like to be memorialized amid the surroundings of a verdant, peaceful golf course,” Swanson said.

According to Swanson, residents of the Pacific Northwest choose cremation at a higher rate than the national average. But with cremation and scattering often comes a problem; families miss out on visiting the grave or interment of a deceased loved one.

“In the ceremony I witnessed, the family of the golfer can’t easily visit the eighth fairway of the public golf course on his or her birthday,” Swanson said.

Swanson began working on his vision for the golf-themed memorial park so it would fit the need for this segment of golf enthusiasts.

The park features both cremation placements and casketed burial plots. It will also feature five bench estates, giving family members the chance to establish a future place of rest together and inscribe a permanent message.

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About Sunset Hills Funeral Home

Sunset Hills Funeral Home is a proud member of the Dignity Memorial network, the nation’s leading provider of funeral and cemetery goods and services encompassing more than 1,600 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. The Dignity Memorial network is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence.

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